Name: Lisa W
Age at time of Dissection: 74
Type of Dissection: Both Ascending and Descending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 19 December 2015
Tell Us Your Story:
My dad died suddenly and unexpectedly from an acute aortic dissection on Dec 19 2015. He just finished having dinner at their home with neighbors and was sitting in his living room chair, when he was stricken with sudden and ripping chest pain. He was rushed to the ER and after 30 minutes of evaluation, he began to lose sensation in his left leg and foot, with numbness. The ER doc knew then that this must be a dissection and summoned lifestar helicopter for transport to a leading hospital. While lifestar was enroute, they rushed him for CT scan to get more information for the cardiac surgeon at the hospital.
By the time he was out of the CT scan he began to rapidly decline and lose consciousness. The surgeon read the CT scan and concluded that my dad would not likely survive the air transport and would never survive the surgery. Our family was told to stay with him at bedside. They had intubated him when he began to have labored breathing after the CT scan, and by the time I got to his bedside he was unconscious and non-responsive. Yet he remained alive for 2 hours on manual intubation.
The question and doubt that haunts me is how could he still be alive with a beating heart for that length of time, and not be a candidate for emergency surgery. I will always question whether they could have saved his life if they airlifted him to the hospital for emergency surgery. My dad had a preexisting thoracic aneurysm and hypertension but it was stable and was checked every year by his cardiologist. The dissection began at the root of the heart and involved both ascending and descending aorta.
The saddest part about my Dad’s death is that he had a simple prostate surgery in August of 2015 but contracted a UTI infection which persisted for 4 months. He was on a strong course of Cipro antibiotic for this duration of time to clear the infection but it persisted. After he passed away, I researched more about Cipro and found a most disturbing report released by the AMA during the same time he was on the drug that Cipro. This report found Cipro to be linked to aortic dissection because it weakens collegen in vessels. I believe there is a direct correlation between the drug and his sudden aortic dissection.
It is horrible to know that my Dad may still be here today were he not on this toxic drug for this length of time. But my main question remains, why did the surgeon feel that he would not survive surgery if this man lived another 2 hours under intubation until we asked them to remove the tube and put my father out of his suffering?